State Rep. Triston Cole today announced he has sent a letter to the governor asking her to share a portion of the federal CARES Act funding with local communities.
The CARES Act, which was approved by the U.S. Congress and signed into law on March 27, is meant to assist states and residents in mitigating the negative health and economic impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. In total, it allocated $3.87 billion to Michigan and the state’s five largest municipalities, allowing the state and some local governments to offer hazard pay to frontline workers.
“First responders, health care professionals and other public servants are on the front lines of this crisis all across the state – not just in municipalities where the population happens to top 500,000,” Cole said. “As we have seen, this virus does not have geographical or socioeconomic restraints. That’s why all local units of government, emergency service agencies and local responders who continue to experience significant hardships due to COVID-19 should be extended additional compensation for being on the front lines during this crisis.”
Cole said the federal legislation relies on the state to distribute reimbursements to smaller and more rural communities for response activities. He called on the governor to consider using some of the state’s remaining $3.1 billion allocation for this purpose.
“I’m hopeful the governor and her administration will see the value in including all Michigan communities in this funding and properly recognize the hard work of first responders across the entire state,” Cole said. “At the very least, every community should have the ability to apply for some of this additional emergency funding.”